We’ve all seen it happen: a writer gets all fired up about a new blog, posts every day for a few weeks, and then … just stops. Bloggers gets busy, lose interest, burn out, or just run out of ideas and abandon the blog.
Hey, it happens.
But it doesn’t have to happen to your blog. Here’s how to avoid blog burnout and maintain a steady stream of useful posts, even when things get hectic or it feels like your muse is away on vacation.
1. Batch your blog posts. I usually work on two or three posts at a time, because once I get into the blogging mindset I can crank out several posts in one session. Then I don’t have to think about blogging for several more days, and I can focus on other projects. It’s a useful way to manage your time, and since you’re working ahead, you have a bit of a cushion when life gets in the way of blogging.
2. Set a realistic schedule. Some bloggers update daily, but I’ve found that my own sweet spot is three times per week (usually Monday/Wednesday/Friday). That way readers don’t forget about my blog, and I don’t go crazy trying to come up with a new post every weekday (and I suspect many of you with busy lives would have trouble keeping up with daily posts anyway). I think sticking to a blogging schedule is helpful, because it keeps you accountable and gets you into a rhythm. But it’s also important to be realistic about posting frequency so you don’t push yourself too hard and get frustrated.
3. Use peer pressure. Some people enlist the help of a blogging buddy or a small group to keep them accountable and cheer them on. Another option is to join a blogging event like Michelle Rafter’s Blogathon to kick-start your blogging and keep you motivated.
4. Create a backlog. In addition to batching posts as described in #1, I also have a small inventory of posts in progress. That way if I get stuck, I can revisit one of those posts, flesh them out, and press “publish” with minimal fuss. Whenever I get an idea for a blog post, I start a draft in Blogger, even if I don’t have time to write the whole darn thing. That way I don’t worry about forgetting the idea and have some posts waiting in the wings when things get busy or I’m feeling uninspired.
5. Keep it simple. Remember, blog posts don’t have to be super-long. A post could be as simple as a photo with an inspirational quote or a YouTube video embedded with a quick caption underneath. It could be a short paragraph with a link to something you’ve written or an article someone else wrote that you found particularly interesting. It could be a Q & A with someone you admire or a roundup of links from your blog. Or it could be a guest post from another blogger. There are many ways to post an update without spending hours at your keyboard. Vary up the length and format to see what appeals most to your readers.
Tell us! Do you struggle with posting consistently? How do you maintain momentum on your own blog? Any tips you’d add?
Flickr photo courteys of Mike Licht, NotionCapital.com